Initiative 960 is really quite simple. It is a right wing Trojan Horse designed to overturn majority rule in the Washington State Legislature. The main beneficiary would be the Republican Party.
Forget that Initiative 960 is unconstitutional because it overturns the majority vote decision making process set up by the Washington State Constitution. If passed and not challenged in Court, as Initiative 601 was never challenged in a timely manner, it would give a one third minority of Legislators powerful control over the state budget and the ability to raise revenue or increase fees to keep pace with increased costs.
Disguised as a way to increase accountability of the Legislature, Initiative 960 is really a Trojan Horse whose purpose is to hand over control of one of the Legislature’s major powers – the ability to raise revenue -to one third of the Legislators. Of course those Legislators who would gain power under this scheme would be the minority Republicans who ideologically oppose any tax and fee increases no matter what the issue or need.
Forget that Democrats have a solid majority of Legislators in both the House and Senate. This bill would put the conservative anti-tax Republicans in charge of the Legislature when it comes to major budget matters.
Requiring a supermajority of two thirds of the Legislators to pass tax increases would mean that 33 Representatives out of 98 total and 16 Senators out of 49 total would be running the show. Forget Speaker Frank Chopp of the House – he would be toast if Initiative 960 passes. Forget Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown – she no longer would matter. Chopp would need 66 Representatives to pass any revenue increasing bill. Brown would need 33 Senators to do so.
Requiring a two votes to pass legislation to increase revenue is a difficult hurdle to pass. Realize that a two thirds vote of Congress is required to over ride a Presidential veto. It does not happen that often.
Initiative 960 would drastically change the Legislative process as set up by the Washington State Constitution by overturning majority rules for voting. The democratic idea of Legislative majorities making decisions no longer would be the case.
Initiative 960 in this sense is a radical idea. It would overturn the whole concept of representative democracy by majority rule and would give the power of raising revenue or not raising revenue in the state of Washington to what one could call a super powerful Minority Rules .
If Initiative 960 were to pass the new law of the land would be Minority Rules.
This idea of a super powerful Minority Rules is of course what the right wing anti government anti tax ideologues hope voters will create by passing Initiative 960. Running as Republicans with this agenda and ideology has seen them lose their majority status in Washington State. Rejected by voters in the majority of legislative districts across the state, Republicans are salivating, hoping voters pass Initiative 960.
Running as Republicans they could not outright win a majority of Legislative seats espousing these ideas. So now they are resorting to this backdoor ruse, this Trojan Horse, to try to regain the control they once had in the Legislature.
This effort is wholeheartedly endorsed by the Washington State Republican Party. They are letting their wunderkind do the front work.
Initiative 960 is the cute baby of Tim Eyman and his money man Michael Dunmire. Dunmire and his wife contributed some $500,000 to buy their way onto the ballot by paying signature gatherers, many from out of state, to collect the necessary signatures.
Dunmire lives in Woodinville, Washington and epitomizes the anti democratic master plan of those who would like to revive the rejected ideas of the anti-government anti-tax old guard Republicans who have lost favor with citizens that want to see government work to benefit the people of this state.
Initiative 960 is a throwback to the rejected ideals of the Grover Norquists of the world that want to drown government in a bath tub by rejecting all taxes.
The best thing that Washington voters can do is drown Initiative 960 and flush it down the toilet. Vote No on Initiative 960. Let’s move Washington forward and work for a better state.
Initiative 960: No Straightjackets – Seattle PI Oct 10, 2007
Potential Financial Impacts of I-960 – Office of Financial Management State of Washington
I-960 won’t fix real problems – The Olympian Aug 23, 2007
No I-960! website
Initiative 960: Inefficient and ambiguous – Washington State Budget and Policy Center
Initiative 960 -Vote No – Sierra Club
Organizations Opposing Initiative 960
The League of Women Voters of Washington Opposes Initiative 960
Reasons to Oppose Initiative 960 – Permanent Defense
Vote No I-960 – Futurewise